I made this resin bust to represent Spock as he first appeared on the bridge in “Star Trek the motion Picture”. It was the first large movie I worked on early in my career when Fred Philips gave me the job to make his ears. Being a Spock fan and my favorite character I was in heaven. One of my favorite moments in my career.
After a weekend of being in the desert launching rockets I’m back at the mold for the Crater Lake Monster and I finished it yesterday. It gets opened today, cleaned up and the first casting made all on video for our in-depth video series.
I also cast a base using epoxy Clear Cast Epoxy tinted with alcohol inks.
We will have a build next on video of the model kit.
The video will be cut and uploaded tonight. It shows you how to layup your sculpture and prepare it for a silicone casting. It also covers the supporting fiber glass case mold technique. The video brings you up to the first completed side of this 2 piece mold.
Next week on Monday I start the molding process on this sculpture. This will be all covered in our “In-depth” video series. It will show the mold and product being cast and finished.
Next up will be the Laser Blast figure of me from the beginning of the movie holding the gun in that classic pose. The gun will be 3D printed but the figure and head will be done by hand and molded like the Crater Lake Monster.
This is me in the desert during the film shoot with Ve Neill, Dave Allen, and Paul Gentry. We shot the entire opening scene alone with Dave’s old Mitchel 35 mm camera and available light. I will be telling stories about this film as we go along.
I’ll continue show the process of molding the monster in brief articles here as well but the videos, should you subscribe to our Patreon page) will be far more detailed.
I’m now sculpting the base. The base will be cast separate thus the gap between the neck and the water. This gets filled in by the builder with clear epoxy. As much as possible I’m making this look close to the original big head I made with a little of the stop motion puppet mixed in.
In looking for images to use for a base plague I found a review of the film where Graf Orlock said the prop head was made of Styrofoam. Granted this film wasn’t a masterpiece but as is typical with critics they often don’t research well enough to know enough about their subject matter to be taken seriously. Obviously this head was not made of Styrofoam. Anyone could have easily researched this. It’s on the net.
The stop motion puppet was quite crude as most puppets were. Although the original sculptures were quite good, poorly made molds in those days resulted in massive seamlines, foam rubber castings around the armatures that were less then stellar were often patches with liquid latex and cotton fabrication. I try to match all this because this gives it a charm. I have seen kits out there of stop motion puppets that are so well done they hardly capture the feel of the actual screen used puppets. Lastly they are rarely made by artists that worked on the films.
Well…I got back to it yesterday. It won’t be long before I can mold this. Now before you can say where’s his teeth let me explain something. Casting those tiny teeth as part overall mold would be iffy at best. My plan is to make the teeth separately and make a mold for the teeth I can easily get resin into without trapping bubbles. Then you, the builder, add them one at a time into the mouth. This was done to the stop motion puppet and the full sized large head I built for the movie.
The head was sculpted toothless and the teeth added later.
The sculpture is a cross between the puppet and the full sized head. The reason for this is Dave Allen originally had sculpted the stop motion puppet in Roma clay. He hadn’t finished it yet but wanted to give me a copy of the head to sculpt the full size from as a reference.
He used dental alginate and made a cast for me in plaster. Later when the sculpture was finished by “another artist” on the shoot he changed the head somewhat after I already molded my huge sculpture. So there was no way to go back and adjust it.
These kind of things happened all the time in movie making. I could talk about what “another artist” did on Star Trek the Motion Picture to my Spock ears half way through the production but I’ll save that for another article.
Here’s the sculpture at present. I hope to finish it today and then do the base which will have ripples in a circle emanating from the neck. The base will be molded separate and cast in clear tinted resin to resemble water.
This was my very first movie job. I was referred to the job kindly by Rick Baker. Ve and I were living together at the time and the sculpture took up much of our apartment kitchen!
Here is Paul Gentry in the kitchen next to the water based clay sculpture I did on the floor. I made a huge plaster mold. and cast the head out of latex supported by a fiber glass under skull. The under portion of the chin and the next were constructed out of foam, cotton and latex. I took the picture. You can see our barber chair and the mask shelf of our Toluca Lake Apartment back in 1976. Paul is holding the plaster cast of the head in his hands.
Mark Helmick who only lives a few minutes from our studio came over yesterday to bring me these treasures to see for the 1903 Wright Flyer project we are doing for our celebrity secret client. Mark, a tired engineer, modeler and flyer has been designing in CAD the Wright Flyer motor and more. He’s been building test gliders and models for the plane and I have been building a balsa model to fly at the same time. All this in the end will lead to 2 6 ft. radio controlled models.
I just finished the last order for awhile in a long run of masks orders that took the last few weeks to complete.
I start back on the Wright Flyer build today and the Crater Lake Monster at long last. I hope to have this model kit in the store soon!
Mark is going to help me with a new kit of the V-2 Rocket.
The model will be highly detailed for static display or flying model rocket. It will use F, G motors and up.
It’s my hope i can get Mark to print me the Laser Blast gun for the Laser Blast figure of me from the opening of the film.